I said to my husband last week, that when I live to be over 100, and they interview me about what I attribute to my long life I'm going to say a piece of dark chocolate every day. Am I claiming chocolate to be the answer to longevity? No, but it sure does feed the soul along the way. Like most of us, I've pretty much demolished chocolate my entire life. As I've gotten older though my love of chocolate has become a bit more refined. Chocolate to me is no longer mass produced Bounty bars or Moros, but the best of the best as far as I'm concerned – Quality over quantity. When I refer to chocolate from here on in, banish the Moro and think dark. Ideally, we're having 70% - 90% dark chocolate to experience all the benefits below. I've been having a piece of dark chocolate nearly every day for the past two years or so, and there are heaps of reasons why. It works for me, it might work for you, it might not, but it's a tasty experiment. So why do I recommend a little bit of dark chocolate as daily ‘medicine'? 1. Permission. Giving myself unconditional permission to have dark chocolate every day means that I don't crave other sweet things as often. I know I'm going to have it later, I know I can have it sooner, but ultimately it's something I look forward to each day as a means to relax and celebrate another day of life. 2. It's Medicine. Ok, so maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but there are lots of reasons why a good quality dark chocolate can be beneficial to the body. One study found that 100g of dark chocolate a day for 15 days improved insulin resistance (though I don't think you necessarily should be eating 100g a day!). Dark chocolate helps reduce cholesterol absorption and is chocka-block (pun intended) with antioxidants. Raw chocolate has, even more, antioxidants as well as iron and magnesium. 3. It's low in sugar. An entire bar of my favourite 85% dark chocolate has only four tsp of sugar total, and it's far too rich to eat the whole block! So a typical serving would have less than a tsp. 4. You're less likely to overdo it. Dark chocolate is super rich, and while I could easily sit and eat a whole bar of commercially produced chocolate, dark chocolate is something that's best enjoyed in small quantities. 5. It tastes amazing! As my sugar sensors have become more acute (since decreasing sugar from my diet), I find that 85% dark chocolate is the ultimate dessert. It's just the right amount of sweetness, creaminess and ultimately – it makes me happy. Is it a habit? Yes, and I'm aware of that, but I enjoy it intentionally, mindfully and thoroughly and where's the harm in that? There are more and more craft chocolatiers out there these days, and recently I was given some amazing dark chocolates to sample (it's a rough job, but someone has to do it). These Cacao For Me Artesian handmade chocolates were divine. Only high quality, natural ingredients and mainly work with dark chocolate, 70% cacao and more.
Other favourites include Green and Blacks 85%, and Hogarth craft chocolate but if you're looking for something special, definitely check out Cacao for Me as an alternative to your box of "favourites". So the bottom line, if you love chocolate then enjoy it. Cutting out your favourite foods will never equate a sustainable diet. Enjoy it intentionally and mindfully and make every taste a special occasion. Life is too short!
* This post is not sponsored (as much as I'd love to be sponsored by a chocolate company. I was simply gifted these chocolates in exchange for my thoughts.